Career mamas need playdates too, and one woman has created a stylish and professional solution of the coolest kind.
Fashion Mamas is a members-only community that brings together badass working women in the fashion and creative worlds (who also happen to have the baby box checked off). Founded by fashion editor, Natalie Alcala, this tres trendy group (with 400 members worldwide!) offers an outlet for pro networking and collaboration, and non-judgmental support for business and motherhood alike.
This Saturday, May 6th, we’ll be hitting up Fashion Mamas’ well-curated Mama Market happening in Culver City. The one-day shopping pop-up will feature over 30 mama-owned brands and retailers — including TCM faves like Energy Muse, Philosophie and La Vie Boheme Yoga — basically guaranteeing a gorgeous find or two for Mother’s Day.
We love that Fashion Mamas stands for balance above all else, empowering women to embrace all of their excellence (and to help others do the same). We’ve asked a few of the real-deal mamas and makers from tomorrow’s affair to share their personal life-business balance tips…
Q: What is your best tip for keeping motherhood and business in healthy balance?
“My best tip for balancing motherhood and business is to do my best to stay present in both situations. When I’m at home with my son, that is our time. Although work tugs, I do my best to set it aside and to be fully present with him. When I know I’ve done that, it makes it easier to do my job. It also helps to lessen the inevitable mom guilt that can arise when you are managing a career and a human life. Mothering and maintaining a career can be so tough, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!”
— Briana Hicks, model and Mama Market co-host
“I think we ladies pressure ourselves to always strive for this elusive work/life balance. My mantra is to include my family in all aspects of my life, including business. Motherhood and business cannot be compartmentalized from each other as this creates binary thinking and suddenly there is a perceived competition between the two. I like to let it be an organic process where all parts of me, my family and business are welcome.”
— Amanda Blake, designer of Calder Blake
“One of my favorite quotes is by Stephen Covey: ‘The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.’ The single word everyone in my house probably hears the most is ‘priority!’ For me, balance starts with figuring out what are the most important three things to get done the following day. Listing them in order of importance, knowing that number three probably won’t get done before day’s end and accepting that it will just have to shift to the top of the list for the day thereafter.
Another favorite quote is from Parkinson’s Law: ‘Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.’ Carving out a specific time to get a task completed, and assigning myself a realistic time limit, keeps me from obsessing over the task at hand. That means not spending more time than necessary on each task and not procrastinating. If I have an audition, I schedule the entire morning; that includes everything from the exact time I’ll run my lines to the exact time I’ll start to do my makeup. Using the timer on my iPhone helps to keep me committed to the time limit I set for each task. For example, I could spent an hour in front of the mirror doing my makeup but setting a timer to 20 minutes ensures that I’ll have more time to cook and enjoy breakfast with my daughter (my first priority) and more time to run my lines (my second priority).
I’ve been working on building an online platform for mamas (a third project on my plate) so I really put these mantras to great use and I can tell you that they do work! However, no one can give 100% to everything at all times. I follow an 80/20 rule with pretty much everything in my life, that to me is a healthy balance. At the end of the day we must be kind to ourselves — that’s probably the most important tip I would give any mama.”
— Denise Vasi, actress and Mama Market co-host
“As long as my kids are safe, happy and healthy, that’s all that truly matters. Everything else is an added bonus in life.”
— Sophie Jaffe, founder of Philosophie
“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming… no, but seriously, some days balancing a career and motherhood can be incredibly overwhelming; I just have to show up and keep going no matter what! The most important goal for me is to switch off work mode when I’m with the fam. The phone has to go away because otherwise I’m distracted and not 100% available to them. The kids feel this! My second go-to is self care. It took me awhile to grasp the importance of this. If I take care of me first then everything else is pretty flawless. It’s when I’m run down or stressed that things become out of whack. Lastly it’s maintaining a rhythm in the home. Consistency and flow keep things in order, helping all of us! I tend to use essential oils, adaptogens, flower essences and walks as my daily fix to keep me grounded, focused and stress free.”
— Sophie Assa, founder of Roseview
“My mantra has always been ‘work hard, play hard.’ When I’m deep in work, I give it my all and make sure I hit every goal I’ve set for the day. Knowing that I was as efficient with my time as possible will allow me to ‘play hard’ with my little guy when we’re together, and to fully enjoy that time without wondering if I could have squeezed in one more work task. And once Diego goes to sleep, ‘play hard’ can take on a whole new meaning, and may or may not involve tequila — organic, of course.
— Natalie Alcala, founder of Fashion Mamas and Mama Market co-host